Looking back: Green Bay Packers stonewall Buccaneers

6 of 6

Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers kicker

Mason Crosby

(2) kicks a field goal as Green Bay Packers punter

Tim Masthay

(8) holds the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Concerns to watch

Not everything was great from this game.

Here are some areas worth paying attention to; they could be problems that affect the upcoming game versus the Lions and possibly the playoffs if Green Bay cannot fix them.

Red-Zone Problems

These issues have been cropping up recently.

The past two weeks they did fine (5/5 versus Atlanta, 1/2 versus Buffalo), but back against New England they failed to capitalize each chance they got (0/4).

In this one they barely out-produced that (1/4), with that last one only coming late when it really didn’t change anything. When the game was still up for grabs, we saw them fail three straight plays from 1 yard out.

Those issues haven’t cost them a game yet, but that is part luck and part circumstance; against good teams and great defenses, that won’t cut it.

Teams like Detroit, Seattle, and Arizona have the defensive chops most days to capitalize on that, and offenses such as Dallas can put up points in bunches to make each scoring opportunity so much more essential.

Packers punter Tim Masthay has gotten most of his work on the sidelines this season, but he will be needed come the playoffs. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Special Teams Woes

Green Bay continued to have issues on the lesser-heralded of the three team areas (offense and defense being the others)

Crosby missed another field goal and now has five misses on the season. That does include two blocks, however. So it shouldn’t all fall on his shoulders.

The rest of the special teams continues to falter as well. There were penalties in the return game. Tim Masthay had only two punts on the day, but one managed just 26 yards.

There are problems here that must be figured out by the coaching staff immediately. Any hiccups from that area could not only cost them a game now; it’ll be playoff positioning and possibly their entire season.

Cramped Lacy

Lacy had a strong day running the ball (17 carries, 99 yards) but missed the end because of what turned out to be cramps.

Something like that shouldn’t be an issue going forward, but Lacy does seem to have a knack for garnering these type of little nagging injuries. Luckily not many have seemed to cause any tangible negative effects on Lacy’s game so far, but it is worth watching.

If this happens next week, Green Bay doesn’t have the luxury of being against a subpar team; any game time missed could be all the Lions need to come away with their first win at Lambeau since 1991.

Rodgers’ Calf

Speaking of injuries, here’s one that might be more concerning.

At some point in the Bucs game, Rodgers was said to have injured his calf. It was obvious that his mobility was limited both in his running (no rushing attempts for the first time in five games) and passing (tons of quick throws, getting the ball out of his hands before he would have needed to move around much).

It doesn’t sound like it is serious, but if there are any lingering effects the offense could be at a big disadvantage facing that terrorizing defensive front of the Lions this coming weekend.

That’s all for today Packers fans. I should be updating you one last time on the playoff picture before the weekend, but until then enjoy your Christmas/holidays with your families and prep yourselves for a HUGE end of the season!